This is a guest post in a series celebrating Motherhood. The unexpected, the surprising, the beautiful. Paired with a fundraiser for Charity Water, we can help mothers worlds away. A little bit at a time. One by one. Please consider giving today. And encourage others to give too. Because your little plus my little can equal one great BIG. Today’s guest post written by Hannah Singer of Happy Days.
being a mother just might be my favorite thing ever.
this is all i’ve ever wanted!
but. it’s not easy for me.
this surprised me a little.
it’s much harder than i expected.
so often, i don’t feel confident in myself that i even know how to mother.
i didn’t get here at all like i dreamed, but i’m growing to really appreciate that.
even finding joy in god’s way and not my own!
motherhood was gifted to me through adoption.
my husband and i were even at the hospital for our son’s birth!
in the beginning, i often wondered if elijah would feel bonded to me.
i was under the impression that the mother-child connection happened mostly in the womb.
then through breast-feeding. neither of which would happen with us.
praise jesus, it’s not the only way. this kid is every bit attached to us.
our hearts are together knit, and we are family.
i am elijah grey’s mama.
a few things about mothering are easy for me. and many things that happen, i handle them well.
like being at the end of vacation, heading home you stop at a playground for your kid.
only, he’s wearing the last of his clean clothes.
and you only realize that’s even an issue because you see this as you snap a quick phone photo:
cleaning up poo pants? i can deal. i’m certain that i won’t mess that up.
sometimes though, i don’t feel very confident here in motherhood land.
i feel like i might botch things, mothering is tricky work.
the emotional highs and lows, the fierce protection you feel for your family,
the cleaning, the feeding, the cleaning again. i’m not always the best at managing it all.
and truth is, i don’t like it when i’m not excellent at something.
i don’t like feeling weak and needing help.
when elijah was a baby, i was pretty sure of myself, i wasn’t a worrier.
i was so thrilled to have my baby and care for him all the ding dang day.
it’s quite possible that this photobooth shot captured my last confident moments in motherhood.
life was grand! we weren’t wealthy or perfect, but we were stable and happy, for the most part.
that makes for one secure mama.
shortly after that photo, my husband lost his job.
thankfully, the lord quickly provided a path to relief.
we moved across the country for work, left our church, friends and comfort zone.
and we moved into an apartment that i did not love.
our life moved on. my son was growing up. i felt like i was behind. my confidence was gone.
i could feel my faith wavering, especially in my ability to be a good mama.
a few months ago, elijah was diagnosed with autism.
this was relieving and grieving news to us.
while it explained so much, it also scares me a little.
i found myself in a whole new world, filled with variables and unknowns.
fear greeted me many mornings, and i let it right in.
can i even do this? will he thrive with me as his mom?
what am i supposed to do, i don’t know anything about autism?!
i was going crazy and getting ill with insecurity.
i don’t remember the exact date, but it was a sweet day.
the day the lord drove out my fear. my misgivings were transformed to trust.
my rattletrap heart was lifted up by his grace and renewed by his spirit.
he gave me confidence again. but it wasn’t my own, it’s all about him.
jesus showed me that the confidence i had before was foolish, it was in my own strength.
he showed me that my fear and lack of confidence in my mothering was a lack of faith in him.
because i am human, i will still battle fear and anxiety, doubt and exhaustion.
but i’m still elijah’s mama. and i’m the best one for him, because god put us together.
he will make my feeble attempts good. i am exactly where i want to be.
exactly where i need to be. forced into the steady arms of christ.
daily living on borrowed strength god so generously gives.
i just need to remember to ask for it!
there’s much joy to be had, and that’s what i’m choosing.
i can’t get wrapped up in what i can’t do and what i don’t yet understand.
my energy needs to be spent on learning alongside my darling boy.
being there, loving him as he grows. i don’t need to be a champion every day.
after all, i glean wisdom from failures.
i’m realizing that motherhood isn’t about me becoming so awesome at the task.
it’s about becoming who he designed me to be and helping my son do the same.
i’m not a failure because i don’t know what to do next.
i don’t need to know everything or be perfect to be secure and undaunted.
to lead and nurture my sweet boy, i just need to trust in christ and fix my gaze on him.
elijah will get there, because of jesus. and that’s where my confidence lies.
* * * *
And so I ask today…that as you ask Him for your strength each day we rise up these little beings all sleepy from their beds, to pay the blessings forward.
We are blessed so that we can bless.
Do you believe that?
Even when money is tight?
Even when times are tough?
Even when it’s easier to just put it off until “next week” or assume that “other people will do it”?
Because this isn’t for other people.
This is to bless a mama on the other side of the planet…and give her clean water for her sweet little.
Isn’t that what you would want if you were in her shoes?
Not the flowers or the cards of yesterday.
Nothing more. Nothing less. Nothing so simple as water that doesn’t kill.
Every little bit helps.
I dare you to give $5 today.
Go on now…click here for our Charity: Water page.
It’s easy peasy.